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Remote Stimulation of Sciatic Nerve Using Cuff Electrodes and Implanted Diodes

School of Biological & Health Systems Engineering, Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
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Micromachines 2018, 9(11), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9110595
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Microelectrodes: Design and Applications)
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Abstract

We demonstrate a method of neurostimulation using implanted, free-floating, inter-neural diodes. They are activated by volume-conducted, high frequency, alternating current (AC) fields and address the issue of instability caused by interconnect wires in chronic nerve stimulation. The aim of this study is to optimize the set of AC electrical parameters and the diode features to achieve wireless neurostimulation. Three different packaged Schottky diodes (1.5 mm, 500 µm and 220 µm feature sizes) were tested in vivo (n = 17 rats). A careful assessment of sciatic nerve activation as a function of diode–dipole lengths and relative position of the diode was conducted. Subsequently, free-floating Schottky microdiodes were implanted in the nerve (n = 3 rats) and stimulated wirelessly. Thresholds for muscle twitch responses increased non-linearly with frequency. Currents through implanted diodes within the nerve suffer large attenuations (~100 fold) requiring 1–2 mA drive currents for thresholds at 17 µA. The muscle recruitment response using electromyograms (EMGs) is intrinsically steep for subepineurial implants and becomes steeper as diode is implanted at increasing depths away from external AC stimulating electrodes. The study demonstrates the feasibility of activating remote, untethered, implanted microscale diodes using external AC fields and achieving neurostimulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: wireless; implantable; microstimulators; neuromodulation; peripheral nerve stimulation; neural prostheses; microelectrode; neural interfaces wireless; implantable; microstimulators; neuromodulation; peripheral nerve stimulation; neural prostheses; microelectrode; neural interfaces
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sridharan, A.; Chirania, S.; Towe, B.C.; Muthuswamy, J. Remote Stimulation of Sciatic Nerve Using Cuff Electrodes and Implanted Diodes. Micromachines 2018, 9, 595.

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